The 1991 European Cup Final was a football match held at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, Italy, on 29 May 1991, that saw Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia[a] defeat Marseille of France in a penalty shoot-out. After normal time and extra time could not separate the two sides, the match was to be decided on penalty kicks. Manuel Amoros's miss for the French side proved crucial, as Red Star held their nerve to win their first European Cup.
Route to the final
Lead-up to the match
Red Star arrived to Italy unusually early, on Thursday, 23 May 1991, six full days ahead of the final. The team set up base in the town of Monopoli, Script error: No such module "convert". south-east of Bari. There they stayed in Il Melograno Hotel and trained at the facilities of A.C. Monopoli. Due to a lot of interest from richer European clubs already being raised for the future services of young Red Star players, the club management tried to ensure its footballers are fully focused on the task at hand. The players were placed in semi-quarantine immediately upon arrival to Italy, which meant being separated from wives and girlfriends without ability to receive incoming phone calls in hotel rooms, though able to make outgoing calls.
Over the coming days, the club also organized for a large entourage consisting of former players & coaches, friends of the club, etc. to arrive in Bari in order to watch Red Star in its very first European Cup final. Therefore, club legends Rajko Mitić and Dragoslav Šekularac, notable former players Srđan Mrkušić, Stanislav Karasi, club's former coach Miša Pavić along with Serbian celebrities and public personalities such as Ljuba Tadić, Ivan Bekjarev, Bora Đorđević, etc. made their way to Italy.
23x15px Castello Buonocore (Italy)
23x15px Roberto Calabassi (Italy)
23x15px Pierluigi Magni (Italy)
- 90 minutes.
- 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
- Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
- Five named substitutes.
- Maximum of two substitutions.
Over twenty years later in 2011, talking to a French football magazine about the famous win in Bari, Siniša Mihajlović said:
|| That final is still very vivid in my memory. I think it was the most boring final match in the European Cup history. Few hours before the match, seven of us were shown tapes with Olympique matches. I remember [manager] Ljupko Petrović telling us: 'If we attack them we'll leave ourselves open for counterattacks', to which I asked 'so, what do we do then'. His answer was: 'When you get the ball, give it back to them'. So we spent 120 minutes on the pitch without practically touching the ball. The match went to penalties, [Marseille player] Manuel Amoros failed to convert his whereas we converted all five. Had we approached the match with attacking mentality, we probably would've lost, not because Olympique were necessarily better than us, but because their players were used to playing big matches like this one. We had a squad full of 21, 22, and 23-year-old kids.
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